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Breast enlargement with tenderness - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Average Posted in: Women's Health
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2407 Questions
User :   I am Caucasian, 50 years old, and in relatively good health until approximately two months ago. I have had breast implants for approximately 14 years with no related issues until 5 days ago. My R. breast has become inexplicably swollen, tender to touch, intermittent throbbing (I even have difficulty wearing a bra without pain), with pain radiating straight through to the R. side of my upper back. I had a chest CT 6 days ago to rule out a pulmonary embolism due to intermittent L. leg swelling and shortness of breath I have been experiencing for two months. The PE has been thankfully ruled out. My physician has also ordered a mammogram which I will be getting next week. Wouldn t the CT show any anomalies of the R. breast? I am concerned my physician may be missing the mark here. I am in an accelerated RN program, and my doctor feels the symptoms I am experiencing are due to stress. She has prescribed Xanax. While stress can produce a myriad of symptoms such as shortness of breath, I have difficulty believing stress will also cause a swollen, R breast with pain radiating through to the R upper back. Any suggestions?
Doctor :   Hi
Doctor :   Let me read the query.
User :   Hello
Doctor :   Since when are you having this pain?
Doctor :   Can you describe the type of pain?
User :   Pain started 5 days ago. Started as a dull ache on the side of the R breast and had progressed to what I described in my query
Doctor :   Do you notice any mass/lump in the right breast?
User :   No. I've checked and all I can feel is the implant with no discernable mass or lump
Doctor :   Do you have discharge from the nipple?
Doctor :   Is the skin over the breast normal when compared to the other side?
User :   Yes. Skin is normal in appearane with no discharge
Doctor :   Ok
Doctor :   Are you on any regular medications?
Doctor :   Do you have diabetes, hypertension?
Doctor :   Have you had similar symptoms in the past?
User :   No similar symptoms. No hypertension, no diabetes, relatively good health. No meds
User :   Although the tenderness does extend to the lateral side. Not in axilla, but close
Doctor :   Ok
Doctor :   Let me explain to you.
User :   Wouldnt the CT of chest show any breast anomalies
Doctor :   Based on your description, and the fact that CT scan was normal, I do not find any obvious medical reason for the breast pain.
Doctor :   Yes, CT scan would have picked up any major abnormality in the breast.
User :   Should I still get the mammogram?
Doctor :   Though CT scan can rule out a major breast pathology, mammogram will be specific in ruling out small lumps.
Doctor :   I agree with your previous doctor, that your symptoms are probably related to stress and anxiety alone.
User :   Can stress actually make the breast swollen and painful?
User :   I am wondering if the implant could be causing this?
Doctor :   Yes, stress can explain pain and mild breast enlargement
Doctor :   Breast implant on other side, cannot explain the present symptom.
User :   I will follow through with the mammogram. This is not a mild swelling of the R breast, unfortunately.
Doctor :   The other possible cause that can cause breast enlargement with tenderness is mastititis.
Doctor :   Since I am unable to physically examine you and since you do not report of any other associated symptoms such as nipple discharge, redness, skin changes and since the scan was normal,
User :   I am hoping it is simply due to stress, as the accelerated RN program is a bit strenuous. I have always been able to handle stress adequately. I will follow through with the mammogram. Would you suggest that if it continues, to follow up with the physician who performed the augmentation?
Doctor :   I presume that the cause could have been stress alone.
Doctor :   However if your symptoms persist or if you develop other associated symptoms than you may need additional blood work ups and regular follow ups.
Doctor :   I wish the symptoms are due to stress alone, and in that case, you will need adequate destressing measures.
Doctor :   Go ahead with the mammogram, and if they along with blood counts are normal, then it is most likely a stress induced changes.
Doctor :   Have you followed what I have suggested?
User :   I understand what you are conveying. I look forward to destressing upon graduation! Thank you so much for your time. I appreciate your input. Have a good evening.
Doctor :   Thanks for consulting me.
Doctor :   Bye for now.
Doctor :   Hi
Doctor :   Are you there?
Doctor :   I have to close the window as you are not responding. Chat with our doctors 24/7 if you have any more queries.
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